Sunset, Pacifica


In the beginning there was light
that shone in my eyes and tickled
the hairs of my brows till they fell,
leaving me bald and old
as the oranges withering in the fridge.
My father had come to die in California,
the poppies sprouting on the hillsides.
I wheeled the old man
through the sand to the shore
where we stared into the sun sliding
into the Pacific with the hiss of waves
a chorus of snakes.
She never saw the ocean.
She had loved me, even
in an end without words.
I wanted her feather curls,
her napkin skin, an apology.
My father’s wife, my mother,
had been an ice pick, not even the ice,
a device meant to shatter the coldest
of cold into shards for debutante drinks.
I turned him—old as the car
we’d driven, a dimmed classic.
The sunset faded into night. A vendor
peddled orange carnations, the last
bright thing this side of the Earth.


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